Who We Are

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ask the Ao4 XXIII - Dutch Ovens and Cilantro

Hey, pups! Tail wags! It's Stormy here! It's actually stormy here, too ... but that's another story. My Zim posted a great recipe (and an even better story behind it!) yesterday and on behalf of the Ao4 and our mom, thank roo for all the kind comments! A couple of the items mentioned presented a little language gap challenge. Consequently, our dear friend Marvin wanted to know, "What is a Dutch Oven? Is it what we call a casserole dish? What is Cilantro? (Jeannie thinks it is what we call here, Coriander??)"

Great questions, Marvin! The English language is used so differently in different parts of the world, isn't it? Let's get on these!

I was going to let Amber answer the query about the Dutch oven, but then I looked over her shoulder during a web search she was doing for a graphic. She looked up ovens, then made another entry I couldn't see and hit on this one:

She wouldn't stop giggling. I think she was going in the wrong direction, Siberianly speaking. AND she's obviously still fixating on Oswald. Anyway, you can use your imagination to figure out where she was headed with this one.

Back to the Dutch oven issue. Have you ever been to the Netherlands, Marvin? No, just kidding. Ha roo roo roo. A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. As per why it's called a Dutch oven ... Wikipedia actually has a great write-up:

During the late 1600s the Dutch system of producing these cast metal cooking vessels was more advanced than the English system. The Dutch used dry sand to make their molds, giving their pots a smoother surface. Consequently, metal cooking vessels produced in Holland were imported into Britain. In 1704, an Englishman named Abraham Darby decided to go to Holland to observe the Dutch system for making these cooking vessels. Four years later, back in England, Darby patented a casting procedure similar to the Dutch process and began to produce cast metal cooking vessels for Britain and her new American Colonies. It is possible that because Darby’s patent was based upon his research into the Dutch foundry system that the cooking vessels he produced came to be referred to as “Dutch” ovens. Other researchers believe that this term may have come from the itinerant Dutch traders who sold cooking vessels out of their wagons as they traveled from town to town and door to door. Maybe both accounts are true. In any event, the term “Dutch oven” has endured for over 300 years.

They also have some photos of Dutch ovens at the link above. What we Americans call "casserole dishes", to respond to the second part of your question, are normally glass, pottery or ceramic-type covered baking dishes. The term also refers to the food item cooked in the casserole dish. That's a wee bit confusing, isn't it? "I cooked a casserole dish in a casserole dish." Amber would have a field day with that one! Anyroo... here I am with our Dutch oven.

I was thinking about Amber's web search, and couldn't help but laugh. She is soooo funny!

The cilantro question is another great one! Jeannie is right, cilantro and coriander are from the same plant! Cilantro, or Chinese parsley, is the name given to the leaves of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum, Marvin!), while both the plant and the seed-like "fruit" are traditionally called coriander.

Cilantro is used as a garnish in a lot of Southeast Asian food, and as a key ingredient of Thai green curry paste. In Mexico and Tex/Mex cuisine, it is used in salsa and guacamole. It's also used in many different chutney dishes! It's in all kinds of wonderful treats! There is a good image of cilantro at the Gourmet Sleuth link. Mom tried growing some a few years ago, but as it gets a little tall, our winds really did a number on it. She wants to give it another try!

I hope that clears things up for you, Marvin! They were excellent questions; thanks for asking!

Tail wags,


  1. My mom just bought some cilantro seeds and some mint seeds. She wants to start an herb garden to keep year round. She's going to grow the mint to make us treats!! We are excited.

    Steve and Kat

    PS. That's a great picture of you, Stormy!

  2. Hi Stormy...
    That was such an educational post...thanks so much. I feel so much smarter now. Hey, we have that same Dutch oven too!!! Woot!

    Lots of Licks, Ruby

  3. I always wondered why they called them Dutch ovens, since they aren't ovens at all.

    Great info about the cilantro and coriander. I always thought they were two differnt things!

    You sure are smart Stormy!!


  4. Hi Stormy! Why thank you for your answers, you are a Wise Stormy.

    But I have to say here.....well bark loudly actually!

    Your Dutch Oven in your picture looks remarkably like Jeannie's so called "casserole dish" (oh by the way we are talking in real English now!)

    We have a casserole dish (so called in English.....) which is exactly the same shape and size and looks as your Dutch Oven!

    How bizarre is that? Well, (oh and Amber will love this one.....) it is all Dutch to me!

    Our So Called Dutch Ovens aka Casserole dishes here in the UK - well ours anyway.....are made by Le Creuset, a French make, cast iron, but just the same shape as your Dutch hoys

    dogness me, I am exhausted after this long comment, I feel a snooze comming on! Love and Dutch Licks, Marvin xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Human Assistant bought a set of pots and pans and left them in the box in the living room a long time ago.

    Puppy and I are chewing the box apart. Soon he may have to put the pots and pans in the kitchen somewhere. But he won't use them.

    All he uses is a big bowl to mix dehydrated food and water. I don't think the stove remembers how to heat up!

    But the dehydrated food is really good! Good and expensive, he says. We are worth it. Well, I am worth it. Gremlin's okay. I'll leave it at that.

  6. Have you got any tips for growing cilantro??? Mom has tried repeatedly & it always gets leggy & goes to seed in a couple of weeks.

    She LOVES it!!

    Mom's gonna send your Mom her Thai Eggplant recipe. I think your Mom will like it lots...if she liked eggplant!


  7. Be careful of those mint plants, Steve! It will take over the world and nver let go! They are true weeds with runner roots and will go EVERYWHERE!!!

    We use our Dutch Oven on camping trips - which is there ideal use if you ask mom - camp fire cookin & bakin.

    Stormy, mom wants to get a university to give you an honorary MSLS: Master of Siberian Library Science. She wishes she had more good researcher like you at her library. Maybe if you were there, the kids would actually do their homework!

  8. Mom sure liked this entry becuse she sure loves food. She wants a Le Creuset Dutch oven that costs like a mazillion dollars!

  9. Oh.. I didn't know about the Dutch Oven too.. Have you seen Oswald again?

    ~ Girl girl

  10. Thanks for clearing up the question of Cilantro. We were wondering what that was.
    Jazz and Dixie

  11. Steve & Kat: YUM, that sounds great! And thank roo for the compliment!

    Ruby: Thank roo! Hey, cool! Is your Dutch oven's name Calphalon? :)

    Holly: I had to look it up about the Dutch oven! and thank roo!

    Marvin: Ah, yes, we have LeCreuset here, too. Cast iron but with really pretty enamel colors, right!?!? We'd probably call those Dutch ovens ... or maybe casseroles, too, if they were shallow. Dutch oven are usually pretty deep.

    Tucker: I've heard pots and pans work better if you move them to the kitchen. Just a thought. :)

    Sherman: Mom is anxious to see the eggplant recipe! Sounds great!
    Mom's cilantro got "leggy", too! Maybe Steve and Kat's mom will have better luck with it!

    Guinness & Shiloh: An honorary MSLS!?!? That is SO cool! I would be so honored!
    Our mom only grows mint in pots - having learned the hard way what you said about it being invasive!

    Joe Stains: Same with my mom!

    Girl Girl: Every time Amber goes out the door, she checks for Oswald! He's ALWAYS around somewhere!

    Jazz & Dixie: Does your mom grow cilantro/coriander? I know you mentioned she grows herbs!

    Tail wags,